Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Passionate Pogba driven by love of football

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jul 2018

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Paul Pogba gave an impassioned response to his critics after helping France into the World Cup final.

Pogba put in his latest assured display of a quietly impressive tournament at Russia 2018 as Samuel Umtiti’s header downed Belgium 1-0 in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old was the world’s most expensive player when he rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in 2016 but his performances at Old Trafford have often polarised opinion.

As the biggest game of his decorated career awaits, Pogba is willing to take the barbs in his stride so long as his desire to compete and love for the game is not up for debate.

“I don’t want to prove nothing to nobody,” he said. “I came from – I wouldn’t exactly say nothing – [but] obviously I had no trophies.

“I could do one thing and it was to play football. It was my love, my first love. Obviously I live for football. I play for football.

“I get criticised again and again but everything is fine. We are winning. It’s always nice to win and it is nice to hear nice things about the team, about yourself and everything.”

Pogba continued: “I know that sometimes you are doing good, sometimes you are doing bad, but that’s how you grow.

“I can improve and get better and better. I wouldn’t say that I’m young but I’m not old, yet, and we are going through nice things and want to finish it.”

As a member of the France squad that suffered heartache on home soil in the final of Euro 2016, Pogba knows completing such a historic task is no formality.

“It’s not done yet. The semi-final was one game,” he added, with Les Bleus to face Croatia in Sunday’s final after Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time goal secured a 2-1 victory over England on Wednesday.

“We are going through to the final of a World Cup. It’s a dream for everybody. But you have to realise a dream.

“We started our dream and now we need to finish it. We are not done yet.”

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